Wednesday, June 10, 2015

High Five Guys YouTube Channel

Hey guys,

So after doing my masterpiece with Emilio Mierzejewski and getting help from Eric Montero and a few others, we decided that we wanted to start a YouTube channel dedicated to short comical films. We probably won't have much coming out soon just because of graduation events and summer trips, but we hope to get some films done to start growing in popularity. After having so much fun with the masterpiece and hearing the good reviews, I thought about doing more of this and it seemed like the right thing to do more of what I'm passionate about. I'll include a link to the videos we've done so far to give you an idea of what our future films may be like. The channel is called High Five Guys and can be found here. It is a very young channel so give us time to grow! Thanks guys! Congratulations graduates!

-Miles Jorgensen

Lost Dog - YouTube
Inglorious Greetings - YouTube

Friday, June 5, 2015

june 5

JOURNAL TOPIC: Please take notes that help you connect the Masterpiece dots and prepare for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

june 4

JOURNAL TOPIC: Please take notes that help you connect the Masterpiece dots and prepare for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

june 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: Please take notes that help you connect the Masterpiece dots and prepare for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

June 3
Jisu & Naiomi

Jisu & Naiomi
Eric & Lukas

Jared & Hikaru

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

june 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: Please take notes that help you connect the Masterpiece dots and prepare for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

June 2 (copied/pasted from the lineup post-- if we talked about you going on today, you're on)

Ephraim & Michael

Chrystal & Tia


orientation for next year's students tomorrow at lunch in 608

If you are interested in co-facilitating a brief lunch meeting tomorrow in 608 for next year's students, please let me know.  And if you know a junior who is planning to take the course next year, please let him/her know.

Monday, June 1, 2015

june 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: Please take notes on the presentations that will help you connect the dots and prepare for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations



Dani & Erica & Anaya

Friday, May 29, 2015

may 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: Take notes that help you connect the dots and prepare to write about the masterpiece presentations for your final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

Melissa & Victoria
Mellany & Daniel

Edgar (?)


Thursday, May 28, 2015

may 28

JOURNAL TOPIC:  Please take notes that help you connect the dots and prepare for the final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Presentations

Eric wrap-up

Connor (25)
Yun Soo (25)

Val Richardson

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

may 27

Take notes on the masterpiece presentations that will help you connect the dots and write on the final.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece presentations

Alec (?)
Eric (35)
Jordan (15)

Val (50)

Jayce (20-30)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

may 26

For presentations: please use the classroom computer and projector, and please take notes according to the questions we've discussed. Presenters, please email Dr. Preston your presentation file or a link to your Prezi, etc.

May 26

Hannah, Judith & Sierra (50)

Tyler (20-30)


Thursday, May 21, 2015

masterpiece academy day 3

Thanks Laike for bringing us into the world of the visual story.  Check out her Instagram here.

Thanks Imanie for stepping in at the last minute and delivering a brilliant presentation on High School Ethics-- good luck with the book!

masterpiece academy day 2

Thanks to Taylor for her presentation on marine biology and her internship at the Central Coast Aquarium.

Thanks to Noah & Alec for their presentations on teenagers' having a voice, entrepreneurship, reducing world suck, and the amazingly rich perspective of Little League umpires. 

Thanks to Joey for his entertaining introduction to ($$$) Photoshop and its free counterpart,

Check out his video:

Maybe he'll make a flattering portrait of you too:

may 21

Period 4: Alec is out sick.  If anyone wants today's time it's yours.  Otherwise we'll have a working period.

Period 5: Laike

Period 6: MGOTM

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

masterpiece academy question

When the last presentation has been given, this is the question I'll ask you to write on for your final reflection.  Please feel free to start a post or notes that will help you remember what's important.

For the last two weeks the Masterpiece Academy has been your showcase.  As you reflect on this experience, and your overall experience in this course throughout the year, please address the following questions in a traditional MLA-style essay.  Then post about it to your blog in any medium (music, pictures, video, animation, [?]) that brings your thesis to life.  (You may embed the original paper if you can't think of a better way to communicate.)

Please Note: Everything on the traditional paper assignment counts.  Please proofread and/or ask a friend or relative to help with organization, flow, and mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, MLA style, e.g.)

Masterpiece Academy Question

Montaigne ended his essay "Of The Education of Children" this way:

To return to my subject, there is nothing like alluring the appetite and affections; otherwise you make nothing but so many asses laden with books; by dint of the lash, you give them their pocketful of learning to keep; whereas, to do well you should not only lodge it with them, but make them espouse it. (1580)

The word espouse originally meant "to marry" and took on connotations like "embrace," "love," and "advocate."  Have you espoused learning?  Explain your growth in this course via a narrative that portrays you as the dynamic protagonist in your own bildungsroman.  Please include the following elements.

ELEMENT 1: You have been treated as colleagues and you have been given a great deal of choice in this course; this represents a high level of trust.  Did you and the others deserve it?  Earn it?  Honor it? 

ELEMENT 2: Fiction has been called "the lie that tells the truth."  Which works, authors, or characters rang true enough to make you feel like they described parts of you and/or your journey? (Please mention at least three.  It makes them sad when we forget them.)

ELEMENT 3: Have you re/connected with a passion that drives you?  If so, how will you continue your learning?  If not, how will you proceed?

ELEMENT 4: [Something about literature or this course that made you laugh out loud.]

ELEMENT 5: [A unifying theme that runs through a minimum of five (5) presentations; a quality of the content, or the speakers, or their communication techniques that strikes you as something important that we have in common.]  Please illustrate/support your point with specific examples from the presentations.

ELEMENT 6: Evaluate whether you completed the hero's journey.  Are you a hero?  To what extent did you respond to the call of adventure?  Did you find a mentor, conquer a challenge, and return enlightened?

ELEMENT 7: For old time's sake, sneak in a literary technique.  Don't make a big deal out of it.  I'll know it's there.

may 20

JOURNAL TOPIC:  After you see today's presentations, identify a meaningful connection between the three and write about it.  (Period 6, talk to at least three of your classmates and see if you can find a common thread).


Alec & Noah



masterpiece academy day 1

Thank you Elizabeth!  Ephraim and others, please feel free to upload your video of Elizabeth's presentation to this post.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

may 19

"A man's got to know his limitations." -Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in Magnum Force

I'm following doctor's orders and I hope to be back tomorrow.  (Yes, right now I AM thinking that every single day.)  Please root Elizabeth on during period 4 and take video of her presentation.  I look forward to seeing it (and her new haircut!) -- please feel free to help her with the classroom computer and projector, and email me if anything comes up that you can't solve.  Looking forward to Taylor's Alec's, Noah's & Joey's ideas tomorrow!
Go all Harry Potter and invent a magic spell.  Explain what it does, why you wrote it, and how it makes the world a better place.  

1. Journal
2. MGOTM/Masterpiece Academy
3. Elizabeth's Masterpiece (period 4)

Monday, May 18, 2015

may 18

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "When You Wish Upon A Star" by Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards)]

Wave your mental magic wand and imagine the next three weeks as valuable, unforgettable learning.  What do you expect from the Masterpiece Academy and how can you contribute to making it the experience you envision?

1. Journal
2. Hope everyone did well on Friday's AP exam.  I reinjured my shoulder and I'm aiming to be back in class tomorrow (Tuesday).  Please use the short period to consider the journal topic and-- most importantly-- sign up for a presentation slot if you haven't already.  Fourth period is especially crunched for time.  Thanks.

Applied Self-determination Theory, as expressed through your masterpiece work and/or literary exploration.

Friday, May 15, 2015

may 15

Authors from Shakespeare to Ray Bradbury are often inspired by real life events.  We recognize Shakespeare's characters from the headlines of history: Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth.  Fahrenheit 451 started as a short story called "The Pedestrian" that Bradbury wrote after being stopped by police for taking a walk.

Write about your favorite book, play, short story, poem, or song that was inspired by or based on real people or events.  What effect/s did the fictional account create?  How did it influence your knowledge or understanding?

1. Journal

HW: projectprojectprojectproject

If you haven't already, please sign up for a date for your Masterpiece presentation by emailing or commenting to the Masterpiece Academy Lineup.  Mahalo.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

literature seminar discussion topic #1

Some of you have expressed the desire to dig deeper into literature in our last few weeks in order to better understand how it reflects and illuminates elements of our cultures and ourselves. So, for your consideration (& the first in a series): "The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies" by Chris Hedges.  Please read the piece and list your observations and questions so that we can discuss them.

In a well-reasoned comment to this post, please also take a position on Hedges' thesis:

The most prescient portrait of the American character and our ultimate fate as a species is found in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”

may 14

Talk to your inner 8th grader.  If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently in high school?

1. Journal

HW: projectprojectprojectproject

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

may 13

(***Period 4: Matthew has the floor.  Please check out the video & respond when you have a chance today or this evening.)

Please watch the following and write a response.  Thanks to Allyson (RHS '14) for sharing this!

1. Journal/discussion
2. MGOTM & complete individual interviews

Please read the post on Masterpiece Academy Presentations and get yours ready.  The Academy begins next Monday, May 18.

masterpiece academy presentations

Beginning on May 13, the inmates will take over the asylum as students show how they've become the masters.  Each of you will teach the rest of us:

  • How you decided what you're passionate about;
  • The value your topic/field/skill has for us;
  • How you learned more about the topic/field/skill by:
    • Finding resources
    • Becoming fluent in the language of the practitioner
    • Seeking out a mentor 
    • Collaborating and getting feedback from peers/blog followers
  • How this has enriched your life and your experience in this course.
Per our conversations in class, your presentation should include:
  • Visuals and/or hands-on experiences that bring the audience into your world
  • Enough craft so as to convince us you didn't just throw something together for a grade
  • Handouts or main points you think we should remember.
Please note that there will be a final essay exam based on the curriculum you create, so be sure-- as both presenter and audience member-- that you are getting the maximum understanding and value from everyone's presentations. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

masterpiece academy lineup

Thanks to everyone who requested dates via comments.  Below is the first draft schedule (with presenters' time estimates in parentheses).  If you haven't yet requested a date, please do so by Friday (May 15).  Apart from Matthew's period 4 presentation tomorrow (May 13) I have this scheduled as a working week, but don't let that stop you-- if you're ready please let me know.  I look forward to taking your micro-courses!

May 13
Matthew (50)



May 18



May 19



May 20
Alec & Noah



May 21
Alec McFarland (50)



May 26
Hannah, Judith & Sierra (50)

Tyler (20-30)


May 27
Eric (35)
Jordan (15)

Val (50)

Jayce (20-30)

May 28
Lilly (50)

Connor (25)
Yun Soo (25)


May 29

Melissa & Victoria
Mellany & Daniel

Haley (20-25)
Edgar (25)


June 1


Millie (20)
Yesenia (20)
Sofia (10-15)

Dani & Erica & Anaya (50)

June 2
Ephraim & Michael (20)

Chrystal & Tia (20)
Jhaicelle (30)


June 3
Jisu & Naiomi (50)

Jisu & Naiomi (30-35)
Eric & Lukas

Jared & Hikaru (15-20)
Laflin (15)

June 4
Brenissa (15)
Ashlyn (15)
Alyssa (20)

Lupita (20-30)
Megan (25)

Marcel (30)
Jacob (20)

June 5

Imanie (20)

Terry (20-30)
Chase (20)

Cameron (15-30)

Antonia & Susel (30)

Hayley & Stephanie


may 12

Why do people make spelling errors on words they already know?  It's been famously observed that, "To err is human."  Why?  What is the connection between imperfection and humanity?  Is imperfection a flaw, or a glorious, romantic state of being, well... us?

1. Journal
2. MGOTM/Interviews

Masterpiece work and/or finding literature you'd like to study with us.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will create the Masterpiece Academy calendar including a lit seminar menu.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

may 11

JOURNAL TOPIC: [Today's tunes: "Mother" by Pink Floyd]

Yesterday many of us celebrated Mother's Day, which was made a U.S. National Holiday by Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago.  Did you observe the occasion?  How do you show gratitude or affection to your Mom the other 364 days?  (If you want to de-personalize the topic: Why do so many public figures thank their Moms on camera so much more often than their Dads?)

1. Journal
2. Independent work: please use the time to work on your Masterpiece/presentation or review for your remaining AP exams

1. If you're attending class Tuesday please plan to bring everything you'll need to work on your Masterpiece
2. Please comment to this post with any literature (prose or poetry) suggestions for discussion circles.  I will augment the menu and we'll make some choices on Wednesday.

Friday, May 8, 2015

re final transcript requests

This just in from Mrs. Dirkes:

may 8

1. How was it?
2. Masterpiece Academy calendar

Thursday, May 7, 2015

period 6 masterpiece calendar

As we discussed during class today, it's time to sign up for the Masterpiece Academy.  In order to give everyone the opportunity to be at their best, please sign up in a comment to this blog post for the date you'd like to present your Masterpiece.

Please include:
  • the date
  • how much time you'll need
  • presentation materials
If you have any questions about the work itself or how to curate, please email or schedule a chat offline.

Looking forward!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

period 5 masterpiece academy calendar

As we discussed during class today, it's time to sign up for the Masterpiece Academy.  In order to give everyone the opportunity to be at their best, please sign up in a comment to this blog post for the date you'd like to present your Masterpiece.

Please include:
  • the date
  • how much time you'll need
  • presentation materials
If you have any questions about the work itself or how to curate, please email or schedule a chat offline.

Looking forward!

period 4 masterpiece academy calendar

As we discussed during class today, it's time to sign up for the Masterpiece Academy.  In order to give everyone the opportunity to be at their best, please sign up in a comment to this blog post for the date you'd like to present your Masterpiece.

Please include:
  • the date
  • how much time you'll need
  • presentation materials
If you have any questions about the work itself or how to curate, please email or schedule a chat offline.

Looking forward!

may 5

As Promised:
  • Last-minute AP exam questions
  • Masterpiece work
  • Individually enriching conversations

Monday, May 4, 2015

who do you want to be wednesday?

Be this guy.

Not this guy.

may 4

(There is no journal today.)

1. AP Exam Q & A
2. Writers' conferences by request


Friday, May 1, 2015

ap exam materials

may 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Richard Cory" by Simon & Garfunkel; "Clampdown" by The Clash; "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford]

I'm proud to work with young people who believe in improving society by being good to people.  Today is May Day, a.k.a. by many as International Workers' Day.  Right around this time last year, Erica Marquez was raising awareness on Campesinos and human rights/social justice. This year, Dani & Erica are raising the bar for everyone:

Is the following poem appropriate to the occasion?  Complete an abbreviated TPCASTT (title, paraphrase, connotation, diction, attitude, tone, shift/s, title revisited & theme) analysis to support your answer.  (For more on "working class poetry" click here.)

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

kudos: april

Congratulations to the following students on their college admissions and scholarship wins!  Congratulations also to those students who have chosen where they'll be going next year.  You look good in the driver's seat.

If I've missed anyone, or if something wonderful happened for you over the break, please either put it up in class or comment to this post.

Shenaya: Admitted to Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; Admitted to School of Field Studies Summer Program (Kenya); Admitted to Cal Poly Pomona
Lupita: Admitted to CSULA Honors College
Jisu: Admitted to Cal Poly SLO
Victoria: Attending UCLA
Sophia: Attending UC Riverside
Millie: Attending UC Santa Cruz
Matthew: Attending UC Merced
Aaron: Attending UC Merced
Kurt: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Bridgit: Attending UC Davis
Danielle: Attending UCLA
Alyssa: Attending CSULB
Hikaru: Attending UCI
Edgar: Attending CSULA
Omar: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Elizabeth: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Ephraim: Attending UCSB
Jayce: Attending UC Riverside
Naiomi: Attending UCLA Luk
Chase: Attending WVCC
Alec: Attending UC Santa Cruz
Megan: Attending CSU East Bay
Alexus: Attending AHC
Jose: Attending ASU
Lilly: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Miles: Attending CSULB
Haley: Attending CSULB
Sierra S: Attending CSULB
Jacob: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Lukas: Attending US Air Force Academy
Tia: Attending CSU East Bay
Sierra B: Attending SDSU
Stevie: Attending UCLA
Courtney: Attending UCLA
Mellany: Attending CSU Channel Islands
Daniel: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Jordan: Attending Cal Poly SLO
Melissa: Atending SDSU Honors College

april 30

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by The Clash; "Break on Through" by The Doors]

When do you seek others' counsel in making a big decision, and when do you take the plunge on your own?

1. Journal
2. Turn in Senior Info paperwork
3. Multiple choice/poetry

1. Please read the Vendler Grid post and the TPCASTT post, and begin/continue the Poetry Boot Camp work as needed (and be honest with yourself; you probably need it).
2. Please complete and be prepared to discuss the multiple choice questions on poetry (after the jump) tomorrow (Friday).
3. Revisit the essay prompts, multiple choice questions, and rubrics in the Exam Practice & Reference tab as needed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a real wetsuit

Check this out.

april 29

Yesterday I told everyone to get 6-8 hours sleep each night between now and the AP exam.  Last night: Did you?  Why/not?  Was last night an unusual occurrence or a matter of habit?  How can you improve your health by improving your schedule?

1. Journal
2. Last night's sonnet
3. Last year's poetry boot camp

1. Take the layers of poetry you need and practice as you see fit

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

watch this m.i.t. professor shave her head to teach neuroanatomy

Story here. (Thanks, boingboing!)

april 28

Actor Patrick Stewart once said, "The only still center of my life is Macbeth.  To go back to doing this bloody, crazed, insane mass-murderer is a huge relief after trying to get my cell phone replaced."

What is it about extreme characters-- or any fictional characters with whom we resonate-- that helps us make sense out of our everyday lives?

1. Journal
2. Macbeth wrap-up
3. Notes on exam preparation
1. Read the following sonnet.  Determine whether it's Petrarchan or Shakespearean.  Explain where the shift is and how it influences the overall theme and tone of the work.  Post to your course blog.  We'll discuss in class Wednesday.  (Please Note: The idea here isn't to see whether you can find the "right" answer-- don't research online.  Anticipate AP exam conditions. Use what we've discussed in class and your own reasoning.)

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Monday, April 27, 2015

april 27

Often learning takes place after the fact.  (Like when you think of the perfect comeback twenty minutes after the conversation is over.)  Now that you're putting high school Shakespeare in your rear view mirror, what did you learn from reading it?  What did the texts tell you about writing style, or history, or human nature?  What did your approach tell you about your own reading style, or habits of mind?  What would you tell next year's seniors and freshmen that will help them?

1. Journal
2. Work as a class to ID questions about Macbeth.  Post your period's questions as comments here so I can spot trends and prepare accordingly.  We will conference about the play on Tuesday.

1. If you haven't yet written the essay, please give yourself 30 minutes and do it. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

april 24

JOURNAL TOPIC: (Note: Please write in your journal in the last five minutes of the period, after you have written and proofed your essay.)

Please describe your experience of the essay.  What was easy/confidence-inspiring?  What was challenging?  Where did you feel you did well, and where did you feel like you needed to improve?

1. Essay

PROMPT: According to critic Northrop Frye, "Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning." In Macbeth a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others.  Write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.
  • pre-write
  • compose
  • proofread
2. Journal

1. Read Macbeth Act V and post answers to the study questions (after the jump) on your course blog

Thursday, April 23, 2015

april 23

Once he and Lady Macbeth agreed to kill the king, is there anything Macbeth could have done to redeem himself, assuage his guilt, or restore order to The Great Chain of Being?

1. Journal
2. Work individually, as a group/team/table/class to answer the following questions (after the jump) on Act IV.  Please post answers to your course blog.
3. Please review the following essay prompts with your colleagues.  You will be writing on one of them in tomorrow's (Friday's) class.  This means you'll only have 20 minutes to pre-write and compose.  (30 minutes less 5 for proofreading-- a necessary evil-- and 5 to reflect on the experience in your journal while it's fresh.)

ESSAY PROMPT POSSIBILITIES (if you find or think of an AP-worthy option you'd like me to consider, please comment to this post)

1. In Macbeth some of the most significant events are mental or physiological: for example, awakenings, discoveries, changes in consciousness. In a well-orgnized essay, describe how Shakespeare manages to give these internal events the sense of excitement, suspense, and climax usually associated with external action. Do not merely summarize the plot.

2. Critic Roland Barthes has said, "Literature is the question minus the answer." Considering Barthes' observation, write an essay in which you analyze a central question Macbeth raises and the extent to which it offers any answers. Explain how Shakespeare's treatment of this question affects your understanding of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

3. According to critic Northrop Frye, "Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning." In Macbeth a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others.  Write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

online conference with connected learning

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday's webinar.  Here's the video and a slideshow they produced:

april 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: " King of the Road" by Roger Miller; "King Horse" by Elvis Costello; "King Tut" by Steve Martin]

What kind of ruler do you think Macbeth will be?  Why?  Provide at least three textual examples that support/illustrate your main points.

1. Journal
2. Act III Macbeth quotes analysis (after the jump)
1. Read Acts III & IV of Macbeth & post active reading notes to your course blog
2. Revisit today's journal topic on your blog through the eyes of the author. What literary/characterization techniques does Shakespeare use to suggest how Macbeth will rule?  Use textual examples to illustrate your claims. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

stick your neck out

I just got two emails in a row.  The first was about a student taking a risk.  The second was this.  Enjoy.

april 21

This morning I gave my American Literature course this journal topic:

Eminem once said, "Rap is my drug."  What did he mean?  How was his experience with rap similar to or different from Bernard's experience with Soma in Brave New World?

Then I started wondering myself: Is this just a clever use of irony/contrast/cognitive dissonance?  What DID Eminem mean-- that rap was addictive?  That it provided an escape or took away the pain of everyday life?  That it gave him a "high"?  Would Macbeth ( or Lady Macbeth, or Julius Caesar) say, "Ambition/power is my drug"? 

What do you think?  With specific regard to Macbeth, how does Shakespeare establish this character as someone who does things against his own self-interest?

Online conference with Howard Rheingold & Connected Learning community.

(Please do the journal for homework.  We'll use this as a segue into Act III.)

1. Journal

Monday, April 20, 2015

make-up ap registration meeting

Reminder: if you didn't attend the first AP registration meeting, please plan to be at the make-up meeting tomorrow morning at 8:30 in the cafeteria.  Mahalo.

april 20


Describe (at least) one thing that's gone well in your masterpiece work.  Describe (at least) one thing that has stalled or failed.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Presentation Structure
3. Online conference tomorrow (period 4)

1. Answer this question on your course blog:  Imagine how the plot, theme, and tone of Macbeth would be different if Macbeth could gain more power by becoming good at something or learning something, rather than benefiting through another's loss.

online conference tomorrow w howard rheingold

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Open Source Learning is connecting directly with thinkers, authors, and mentors who have the knowledge & experience we seek.  Tomorrow in 4th period we will be talking online with Howard Rheingold.  I got to know Howard when I introduced the idea of Open Source Learning at Palo Alto's Institute for the Future in May, 2011.  Howard is one of the foremost authorities on the culture and potential of the Internet.  His books coined the term "virtual community" & predicted the rise and impact of social media and the smart phone.  Forbes Magazine went so far as to call him a "digital elder."  In addition to his own writing and teaching (at Stanford and UC Berkeley), Howard moderates online events for the University of California Irvine's Digital Media & Learning Hub/Connected Learning program, which is funded by the Macarthur Foundation.  He has invited us to talk with him tomorrow. 

Another distinguishing characteristic of Open Source Learning is the idea that every participant can "write" the curriculum-- in other words, we all create and refine our path(s) of inquiry by asking questions and suggesting resources, ideas and actions that accelerate understanding.

Lastly, Open Source Learning is transparent; online data can be shared in its original form and we can see how it changes over time.

Here's an example: Howard and I exchanged emails in which we discussed the online conference.  He invited you to hack it (see screen shot below).  So, please comment to this post with anything you'd like to see considered in our conversation with Howard.  Or go directly to the planning document and contribute.  I will introduce the basic concepts of our work at the beginning, and then I will turn the conference over to students who will lead the discussion from there.  If you'd like to invite someone to watch you online you can send them a link here.  Looking forward to the conversation!

Friday, April 17, 2015

she should have died hereafter

What is the point and purpose of Macbeth's "She should have died hereafter" soliloquy?  Please comment to this post with your thoughts based upon our reading of the play so far.

MACBETHShe should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

april 17

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac; "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion]

We often see chains as metaphors for entrapment (a la "The Allegory of the Cave").  But apart from things that hold us to a place or weight us down, chains can also be seen as bonds that meaningfully connect us to our identities, our families/communities, and our place in the ecosystem.  When Macbeth disrupted The Great Chain of Being by murdering Duncan, things began to go awry.  How does Macbeth's state of mind reflect Shakespeare's intended theme/tone? Please answer as if you were writing an essay on the AP exam.

1. Journal
2.  Tomorrow, tomorrow, & tomorrow... is today
3. Macbeth: Act II

1. Read Macbeth Act III & post active reading notes to your blog.
2. Comment on the purpose and meaning of Macbeth's "She should have died hereafter" soliloquy 
3. Use the weekend to catch up, review, and deepen your understanding of Macbeth and your masterpiece.  Come back Monday refreshed and prepared for next steps on both fronts. We will have Masterpiece Workshop, as well as Macbeth test & 1st essay.  Please Note: this grading period ends Friday, April 24.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

beethoven for elephants

Just because you don't see this every day. (originally posted 12.12.11)

april 16

JOURNAL TOPIC:  [today's tunes: "Macbeth-Sinfonia" by Verdi; "Tiny Daggers" by INXS]

Macbeth sees a vision of a dagger and is moved to speak and act accordingly.  Hamlet imagined the "bare bodkin" in his most famous soliloquy-- and was also moved to speak and act.  Compare these two moments: how does Shakespeare's characterization and writing technique create dramatic tension and move the plot?  Why do these characters see visions in their mind, then use words to express what they think & feel about what they see, and then become motivated to act?  What effects does Shakespeare's technique create?  And why the images of weaponry?  In other words:[groan]...POINT?

1. Journal
2. Read Act II.  Answer the study questions (after the jump) and post to your course blog.
3. Work on memorizing "tomorrow, tomorrow, & tomorrow..."

1. Complete agenda items 2 & 3 (due tomorrow) if you don't finish in class.

april 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen; "'S Wonderful" by George Gershwin/performed by Ella Fitzgerald]
Last night my daughter got me thinking about ice cream cones.  Describe in detail your most memorable ice cream cone moment.  (AP style-- i.e., think plot structure, characterization, theme, tone, etc.)


Describe the initial characterization of Lady Macbeth.  How does Shakespeare establish a sense of her character through the words/terms she uses, through her reaction to the witches' prophecy, and to Macbeth's letter in general?

1. Journal
2. Act I quiz
3. Discuss Act I Scenes iv-vii
4. Begin Act II

1. In a blog post entitled LOVE IS BLIND (or, if you're a Billy Joel fan, YOU'RE ALWAYS A WOMAN TO ME), explain the difference in the way Macbeth sees Lady Macbeth and how the audience sees Lady Macbeth.
2. In a post entitled WHAT ABOUT MY MASTERPIECE? please comment on your progress this week, and comment on the fact that Shakespeare had all day every day to write but that you have to work yours in between your other endeavors.  Friday we will discuss project and presentation requirements as a class, so get your ideas ready.
3. Create a character map for Macbeth and post to your course blog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

april 14

Some of Shakespeare's best-known protagonists wrestle with the concept of ambition.  When is ambition a good thing and when is it a tragic flaw?  Use examples from life (Jiro's, your own) and art (Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet, e.g.) to support your points.

1. Journal
2. Finish reading Act I.  Answer the study questions (after the jump) and post to your course blog.
3. Work on memorizing "tomorrow, tomorrow, & tomorrow..."

1. Complete agenda items 2 & 3 if you don't finish in class.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Battle of The Blogs: Bracket 1 Results

If you hadn't gone to the 5PH1NX blog, go there now. Bracket 1 results are in (left side of page) and the voting for Bracket 2 is continuing for the next 4 hours so go check it out with votes accordingly.

Match the results with [Person] vs. [Person] in this follow up to the Bracket 1 results:

Period 4:
Period 5:
Period 6:

For reference: Battle of Blogs and another OSL Madness. Need to post a BLOG FEEDBACK post on your blogs.

Bracket 2 voting polls will end tonight at 9 PM.

reminder: mandatory ap mtg tomorrow

Pre-registration for AP exams will be held tomorrow morning in the cafeteria at 8:30 A.M.  Please remember to bring your ID.

kickstarting your masterpiece fundraising

There is a Kickstarter campaign for the Yosemite masterpiece, and the first contribution was from someone outside our community for $105.  Any $ over the Yosemite budget will go toward other masterpieces, and college scholarships, and resources for next year's course, etc.

Check it out here.

And please consider this advice from digital marketing expert, campaign sponsor, and friend-of-the-course Nik Koyama (after the jump):

april 13

[today's tunes: "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam; "Time to Pretend" by MGMT; "Today My Life Begins" by Bruno Mars]

Why do we have to re/learn as adults the things (like breathing and using our imagination) that come so naturally to us as children?  How can you start over today with an open "child's mind" and see things that you might otherwise have missed?

1. Journal
2. Leading question: What is it about Macbeth that makes him vulnerable and/or questionable, even though he is introduced as a conquering war hero?  Can you identify moments in the text where you think Shakespeare might be doing something to make the audience think twice about Macbeth, even as other characters celebrate his name and accomplishments?
3. Macbeth Act I Scenes i-iii
4. Experts and mentors

1. Find five (5) resources that you think will be useful in our study of Macbeth. Post to your blog (title: MY MACBETH RESOURCES)
2. Read this article about mentors
3. In a post entitled MEET MACBETH, answer the following questions. [Note: please don't list these with numbers or bullets; write them in paragraph form].
  • How is Macbeth introduced through in/direct characterization?
  • What elements of foreshadowing do the witches provide?
  • How does Shakespeare's approach to exposition give the reader background information about the setting and characters and a sense of what's to come without spoiling the play?
  • How does Shakespeare's characterization of Macbeth reflect a sense of tone (i.e., the author's attitude toward the character/s, audience, and/or subject matter)?
  • What themes appear evident in Macbeth's character and conduct?  To what extent do you think these themes will drive the rest of the play? 
4. Begin memorizing Macbeth's "tomorrow, tomorrow, & tomorrow" soliloquy (Act V Scene 5). Due by *Friday, April 17.

Monday, April 6, 2015

if caitlin

So, I remember talking with Caitlin about the poem "If" (by Rudyard Kipling, below), and I remember we had a really good idea about poetry over the break.

I just don't remember what the idea was.  If Caitlin or anyone else does remember, will you please post about it?  Otherwise I'll give it some more thought later in the week.  Or I'll forget.  Mahalo.


By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Source: A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

sci-fi option

For those of you-- Jordan, Miles-- who wanted to read sci-fi over the break, I'm offering this as an exercise in reading some terrific fiction and practicing your writing.  (It's required for American Lit, you can see their post here.)
Read a great science-fiction story about the increasing confusion between the lives of people, virtual avatars, and machines.  Here are some suggestions.  Read a few pages and see if one grabs you.  If you have a suggestion please post a comment so we can check it out too.

Imagine the following scenario.  You are being rejected for scholarships, university admissions, job opportunities, and even military recruitment because you are suspected of not being fully human.  Even as you read this authorities in a faceless office park are reading your file and determining whether to reclassify you as a tool and assign you to sorting multi-colored beads in a warehouse for the rest of your (battery) life.  Your job is to write a persuasive essay in which you prove that you are fully human.  It had better be good.  And it had better be on your blog by Monday, April 13.

Effective appeals will include:
  • Sound logic (think truth, validity, and effective use of ethos, pathos, & logos)
  • Avoidance of fallacies in reasoning and accurate identification of fallacies in the opposition's reasoning (so don't forget to include and debunk counterclaims)
  • Textual examples from novels and other source materials that illustrate:
    • How the book you chose used theme, tone, characterization, and/or other literary techniques to convey meaning to the reader
    • How-- even though science often begins with science fiction-- your world is different from the world described in the book
  • A thorough explanation of how your artificial body augmentations (braces, hearing aids, earbuds, phone-shaped hands, tattoos, piercings, etc. etc.) and habits (staring at screens instead of people, isolating yourself with personally contained music, e.g.) make you more human and not less.
Good luck.  I hope the authorities see you for who you really are.  Unless you really are a robot, in which case I hope they pull the plug.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

spring break work

(Crap-- just realized I posted this to the wrong blog last night. Sorry for the delay. -dp)

Here is the work for Spring Break.  Please comment or email with questions.

Select a poem from this list (or make a case for a poem of equivalent literary merit).  Then select a poetry essay prompt from this list.  On your course blog, explain why the prompt fits the poem (feel free to substitute the names of characters, descriptive details etc. in the prompt).  Then write your essay.  We will have writer's conferences the week of 4/13 as we begin Macbeth.  If you want written comments, please print your essay and bring to class 4/13.

Please read "Young Goodman Brown" and write an essay in response to this prompt.  The prompt will be familiar; the acts of completing a pre-write, articulating a clear thesis statement, and presenting a well-structured analysis supported with literary techniques and illustrative examples are hopefully becoming more familiar.  Same deal re: writer's conferences and written comments.

Happy reading and writing.  See you in what seems like a long time but will inevitably go by way too fast. -dp 

sci fi option

I haven't forgotten the p.4 conversation about sci fi-- I'm looking for a couple specific links & will post tonight.

OSL Madness

Today in periods 5 & 6 we discussed the OSL Madness idea and agreed upon the following ideas:
  • Votes for brackets will occur in rounds, each round lasting a day.
  • Judging criteria is based on the content (quality over quantity), organization, and aesthetics (beauty aspect).
  • To vote you must comment, constructively, to both blogs that you judged (could be as simple as saying this is why I did/didn't choose your blog. 
  • Everyone will need to create a blog post entitled: BLOG FEEDBACK, so that everyone has a place to post comments to your blog.
  • One possible prize for the winner a free domain.
  • There's also the suggestion of consolation brackets and subsequent prizes.
  • First round voting polls will open starting Monday morning and ending Monday night, with next bracket on Tuesday etc...   
Obviously, nothing is set in stone yet. Any other suggestions are welcome in the comments. There will be a post tomorrow with all of the final details.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

space to learn

I'm not sure if their space hacked made the conversation possible, but *wow* on both counts.  Thanks p.5!

april 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "(Now & Then There's) A Fool Such As I" by Hank Snow; "Ship of Fools" by Robert Plant]

You have seven minutes to write an epic poem about a unified theory of consciousness and the history of the papacy concentrating especially but not exclusively on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific. Be ready to recite your poem from memory in any ancient language (except Greek) to the 2000 people who will be waiting expectantly on the field outside 608 in eight minutes.


Attempt to explain why people like the experience of making/being made a fool at least once a year.


In both Hamlet and Macbeth we see characters thinking out loud about their decisions: how they imagine the decision in advance, how they translate thought into action, and how they feel about it after the fact. Describe this dynamic in your own life. How do you feel about your decisions before, when, and after you make them? As you reflect in hindsight, which decisions stir feelings of pride and which stir feelings of regret?

1. Journal
2. March Madness in April


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Battle of The Blogs

Because of Chase's idea for march madness, we have created a tournament based on brackets. Here are the following URLs for each class:

Period 4:
Period 5:
Period 6:

[All randomized seed]

The way we could grade, critique, comment, or whatever, everyone could simply download the Tapatalk app and find the forum under the name "Open Source Learning 2014". I say this because personally, none of us don't want to receive negativity for not posting things or having sufficient content. (No Account needed to create in order to make posts on forum).

Hints: Look for consistency, up-to-date assignments, outside course posts, masterpiece/big question, etc. Comment on people's blog if you want to changes/improvements/modifications.

If you agree to this, comment to this post or make posts or comments at the 5PH1NX blog ( If you disagree or want to make suggestions comment anyways, its always great to hear great feedback.

An example for what the contests might look like....

The Top Winners in each class will battle it out. The Final Tournament Winner will gain something special....

kudos: march

Congratulations to the following students on their college admissions and scholarship wins!

If I've missed anyone, or if something wonderful happened for you over the break, please either put it up in class or comment to this post.

Omar Dominguez: UC Irvine, USCB; sponsored by #Musiquality to Yosemite
Noah Hernandez: UCSD
Joey Buelow: Northeastern, Cal Poly SLO, SDSU
Lukas Sheckherd: Naval Academy, Air Force
Melissa Sobczak: UC Riverside, Cal Poly Pomona, Purdue University
Hannah Hurd: UCSD, UCLA
Hikaru Kasai: UCSD, UC Irvine
Courtney: UCSD, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA
Elizabeth Smith: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, USC (Blech. -Ed.), UC Berkeley
Alec McFarland: UC Santa Cruz, UCSB
Victoria Tonascia: Cal Poly SLO, UC Santa Cruz, UCSD, UCLA, UC Irvine, UCSB, Westmont
Shailynn Joseph: UC Davis, UCSD, SFSU
Danielle Cadena: UCSD, UC Santa Cruz, UCSB, UCLA
Alyssa Oh: Cal Poly Pomona
Laike McFarland: UC Riverside, UC Merced
Naiomi Desai: UCSD, UC Davis, UCLA, UCSB, IC Irvine
Stevie Wisz: UCLA
Ephraim Rodriguez: UCSB, Boston University, NYU, Pepperdine
Marcel Dube: University of Colorado
Bianca Aleman: UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly SLO
Erica Paculan: Boston University
Eric Montero: Alan Hancock College
Shanaya Stephenson: Pomona College, Carnegie Mellon University
Sean Rebaldo: San Jose State

march madness osl-style

Chase just had a great idea.  He's going to post more about it.  I'm stoked.

march 31

JOURNAL TOPIC: (today's tunes: "Limelight" by Rush)
Think of a popular saying or song inspired by Shakespeare.  Why do the Bard's words continue to have so much influence?

1. Journal
2. Poetry and Shakespeare (& check-in with period 4 on poetry schtuff from yesterday)
3. Peer feedback for tomorrow's blog jury

Bring everything you've done so far up to date and get your peers to love your blog

Monday, March 30, 2015

march 30

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Why does poetry matter?

1. Journal/Discussion
2. Prepare your blogs for a jury of your peers tomorrow -- whether you think it's ready or not, get feedback from at least five people during class today and make changes to improve it
3. Multiple choice analysis (*period 4, we'll do this tomorrow)

1. Select a poem from this list
2. Apply either the TPCASST or Vendler analysis and write up on your blog

vendler grid poetry analysis

Here is an example of a Vendler grid with explanations after the jump.
(Thanks, Ms. Fischer!)

Vendler Grid


Structural Parts


Other Parts


Content Genre-

Roads Not Taken

Speech Acts

Outer and Inner Structural

TPCASST poetry analysis

Here is the TPCASTT
(Thanks, Ms. Fischer!)

TPCASTT:  Poem Analysis Method:  
title, paraphrase, connotation, diction, 
attitude, tone, shift(s), title revisited and 
of poem means

parts of the Poem

of some of the words – changing literal meaning to implied or associated values

What is the attitude of the author, characters or yourself?

At first we think or feel one way – then there is a shift:  identify the shifts and explain them

Title revisited
Any new insights on meaning or significance of title?


Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27

Old fashion boy v. girls debate on the topic: Do we need laws to correct for the difference in compensation between men and women?  (Catch the opposing side using bad logic and win!)

1. Journal
2. The Great(ish) Debate
3. AP test preparation: multiple choice 
4. Go over story read yesterday-last line interpretation
5. #3 lit anal due March 31st 

1. Open the "AP Exam Practice & Reference" tab and get to work

designing your life

Welcome to Stanford's most popular class:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A different type of dash cam video

The last dash cam video of the teens driving distracted reminded me of this that I found earlier in the semester. It's a little less shocking and a lot more entertaining. If you have some time this weekend to watch another viral YouTube video, or if we have some extra time in class, this might be worth four minutes of it.
Also, if it has not been your day (and in the wise words of T. Swizzle) I encourage you to just shake it off :)

teenage driver dashcam video

While writing and thinking about mindfulness this morning, I ran across this video that shows what happens when people aren't mindful.  (Thanks, boingboing!Let's be mindful out there.

march 26

What did you do greatly yesterday?  If you missed the opportunity, please explain why.  How can you read/write with more intention and mindfulness?

1. Journal/discussion
2. A close reading of the first paragraph of Saki's "Tobermory"
3. Group work and extended reading

Finish the story and explain the last line in terms of theme and tone.  Please post your thoughts to your course blog (suggested title: TOBERMORY EXPLAINED).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

march 25

Today we're finishing Jiro, and the theme of the day is this:

What in your life can you improve by thinking like Jiro?  What activities can you approach more mindfully, with more care, to achieve more valuable results that speak to others and reinforce your sense of who you are?

If co-authors have suggestions, please hack this post.  Mahalo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24

[Great job, Naiomi! I've added a couple ideas. DP]


Why is it that adaptations of literary works never seem to satisfy us? Discussion might include books made into movies or poetry converted into songs. What is about the concept of adaptations that either excite us or evoke a long groan out of the reading fans?

Alternate: what were your most powerful first impressions/takeaways from Jiro yesterday?  Mine were his opening thoughts, which he spoke directly into the camera:  Once you decide on your occupation you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to love your work. Never complain about your job.  You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill.  That's the secret of success, and is the key to being regarded honorably.

1) Journal ( I would prefer if it is oral because we seem to be more efficient and excited about it!)
2) Motivation and passion in "making sushi" - Continue to know Jiro

1) Post about the progression of masterpiece and find and describe your passion. April 21st we will have a conference with Howard Rheingold and the Digital Media & Learning/ MacArthur Foundation community.
2) Visit blogs and find the "best" ones (Not necessarily in terms of keeping up on school work, but something that gives insight into their personality).

Monday, March 23, 2015

march 23

JOURNAL TOPIC: (today's tunes: "Right Now" by Van Halen & "Until the End" by Breaking Benjamin-- or, depending on my nostalgia for Rocky & your tolerance for cheese, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor)

What is it that drives you?  Striving toward something good that you feel within yourself?  Achieving a socially recognized goal or reward?  The fear of failure?  Something else?

1. Journal
2. Mise en place
3. Meet Jiro

I watched the movie Chef several times.  There was something about it that spoke to me, a message about working with discipline, passion and a vision of quality that brings out our best.  This approach to craft drives successful people in all walks of life.  Whether you are a designer or an insurance agent, you will discover that craft not only improves performance, it provides a sense of fulfillment.  Outward symptoms of success often follow; they are also overshadowed by the singular sense of real achievement.

This is why I want you to meet Jiro.

Last week Anaya turned our shared space into the Open Source Learning Cafe-- a powerful metaphor.

It's time to become a chef.

Friday, March 20, 2015

learning conversations

Today Imanie proposed a verbal journal via table conversation .  My first reaction was to ask whether there would be a written version.  She said no.  And she was absolutely right.  As students read her agenda on the screen, Elizabeth commented, "This is great! I always write these great ideas in my journal and we never get to talk about them!"

I learned a lot by listening to students exchange ideas about generational differences in the experience of childhood, why girls have it harder than boys, the movie Insurgent, online dating, and pickles.  Watching everyone practice the art of conversation was inspiring.  There were constructive disagreements, moments of profound realization, and some extreme belly laughs (if you're a chair, please watch out for Annie).  Most importantly, everyone learned.

Since we don't have journals to remember the day by, and the conversations turned out so well, please comment here with recollections from your table and let's continue the dialogue here.  Have a great weekend!

march 20

(*Please Note: I posted this as a matter of routine, before I saw that Imanie had already posted an agenda for the day-- thanks Imanie!  I'll reserve the tunes/topic for another day.  The HW does still apply. DP)

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "One Day" by Matisyahu; "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins; "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra]

People talk a lot about "someday."  What if it's today?  What can you do right now-- in this very moment and for the rest of the hour-- to achieve your goals, realize your dreams, calm your mind, surpass expectations, and change the world?

1. Journal
2. MGOTM: vision-->field-->project-->expert-->mentor-->network-->success
3. Finish Writers' Conferences

1. Read this article on mentors
2. What does the expert (profile) you identified have to teach you?  What questions can you ask to select your mentor and begin the process? (post under title: SEEKING MENTOR)
3. Brave New World essay due Monday (on paper or on your blog -- for written comments please use paper or print a copy and bring with you)

March 20

Tunes: courtesy of Judith: Sugar- Maroon 5


Today we will be doing an oral journal within the groups you are seated in. Hopefully your table is split on the question, but if everyone in your group agrees (or even if they don't), reach out to groups around you.  *Don't forget to turn in your journals to the box*

Topic: (you have options) 
1. It's harder to be one gender over the other. 
2. People make a conscious decision to be good everyday. 
3. If no one was capable of holding in or filtering their own thoughts, how would the world be different? 
4. Make your own. 

1. Talk about your masterpiece and probably make a blog post about it. 
2. Essay consultations. 
3. Dr.Preston will probably assign the Huxley essay to be due on Monday

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Start a conversation...

To encourage masterpiece conversations Erica and I think that these conversations take offs can help... How it works is by choosing one of the take offs and conversing with the take off.

I am great at...
I am happiest when...
I am passionate about...
The thing that energizes me most is...
The type of people I work with the best are...
When I enter a room full of people, I usually feel...
I like to be with people when...
I get angry when...
I want people to know that I...
When I think about the future, I see myself...

who better to share fundraising advice...

...than our collaborators in England, who have raised nearly $8000 in the last month?  Thank you Laura & Jess!

who better to share college insights with the class of 2015...

..than the Class of 2012?  Thanks Will & Amanda!